This summer I talked to several young people who are a bit obsessed with lizards, which reminded me of 2 fictitious characters and 1 real person. All three of these books involve characters/people who are a bit obsessed with lizards too. In fact, they are all obsessed with the biggest lizards, Komodo dragons. The two characters want to have a pet Komodo dragon. The real person did groundbreaking work with Komodo dragons. So here are some books for those kids (and kids at heart) you and I know who may have a touch of ophidiomania or aspirations to become a herpetologist.
Boris Gets a Lizard (Boris, #2) by Andrew Joyner
Boris is obsessed with Komodo dragons. Every Tuesday in class he talks about them. Boris is convinced he wants one as a pet, and he writes what he is sure is a very convincing letter to the zoo letting them know that their Komodo dragon can come have a vacation at his house. He starts spreading the word that he's getting a Komodo dragon at his house that weekend. But what will the weekend bring?
Reptile Lovers, Beginning Chapter Book Readers, Read Aloud Fans, Animal Lovers, Lower Grade Readers
Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor by Patricia Valdez, ill. by Felicita Sala
A picture book biography of Joan Procter who worked with reptiles in the Natural History Museum in London and then the London Zoo in the early 1900s. Procter was one of the first people to really get to study Komodo dragons for any length of time, so she made monumental discoveries regarding that species.
Reptile Lovers, Picture Book Biography Fans, Female Scientist Fans, Fans of Stories of People Who Succeeded Despite Chronic Illness, Lower Grade Readers on up
Samantha Spinner and the Spectacular Specs (Samantha Spinner, #2) by Russell Ginns
After discovering the secrets of her unusual umbrella inheritance from Uncle Paul and avoiding the machinations of a secret organization bound to get their hands on it, now Samantha’s found a pair of purple sunglasses in the table leg at home and a warning to watch out for the SUN. The glasses lead her and Nipper on further world travels while they try to figure out where Uncle Paul has gone (because they are now pretty sure he isn't dead). Meanwhile, their older sister is insisting the family help with her Broadway show since her producer disappeared. And Nipper is determined to somehow get his New York Yankees back from their diabolical little neighbor girl. Oh, and he ordered a gross of chinchillas to help cheer up Samantha and now he needs to figure out how to deal with them.
Nipper also takes a teensy detour while he and Samantha are in Indonesia on one of their stops chasing down clues and snatches himself his secret dream pet. Boris would be jealous. But the fallout is hilarious and cautionary for those who think they want to bring a Komodo dragon home.
Puzzle/Code Sleuths, Worldwide Travel Fans, Humor Fans, Wildly Imaginative Story Fans, Reluctant Readers, Middle Grade Readers on up